Classical Guitarist // Composer // Music Educator
Australian guitarist Paul Svoboda graduated with First Class Honours from the School of Music, University of Queensland in 1989, receiving the University Medal for outstanding achievement as well as the prize for Most Outstanding Music Graduate for that year. In 1994 he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland. During the 1990s Paul was Lecturer in Classical Guitar at the Kuopio Conservatorium of Music and Dance, Finland. In the early 2000s he lectured in music subjects at the School of Music, University of Queensland.
Also in 1994 a Finnish TV programme was produced about his composition, "Finnish Suite", for Flute & Guitar, performed by his flautist-wife Outi and himself. In 1998 American flute/guitar duo Sandra Seefeld & Richard Goering recorded a CD completely devoted to his compositions for that combination. Paul has performed solo and chamber music concerts in Finland, Czech Republic, Thailand, Switzerland, China, Germany and Australia.
Paul is highly active as a teacher, performer and composer. His list of compositions is extensive, and it is one of his goals to extend the performing and teaching repertoire for the classical guitar by composing appealing pieces with a “modern touch”.
In recent years Paul has become fascinated with the newly emerging genre of the classical guitar ensemble, constantly adding to its growing repertoire. His philosophy of composition is that every section of the group should have something interesting to play in each piece – this leads to greater enjoyment and better performance!
Paul’s music is regularly broadcast on ABC Classic FM. He is based in Brisbane and teaches classical guitar full-time at Loreto College, directing several guitar ensembles. In 2006-2010 his advanced school groups took part in the West Australian International Classical Guitar Ensembles Festival, to great acclaim. In 2020 Paul was invited to adjudicate this festival.
SInce 2014 Paul has directed the Classical Guitar Orchestral Stream of the Adelaide Guitar Winter School, in collaboration with Musical Director Slava Grigoryan. This annual event has become a real feature, working in conjunction with its parent event, the Adelaide Guitar Festival, and is a a highlight of Paul's schedule. He has also been an adjudicator for the Australian Classical Guitar Competition.
From 2013-2018 Paul was the invited specialist at the Mulkadee Youth Arts Festival in Townsville. Mulkadee has been a massive arts education event, culminating in a final concert in the Townsville Entertainment Centre to audiences of 2,000 and more.
Paul is in demand as a classical guitar ensemble specialist and is regularly invited to give workshop/masterclasses.
Aurora Guitar Ensemble
In 2007 Paul founded the Aurora Guitar Ensemble, an outstanding group of dedicated and passionate classical guitarists who truly understand the meaning of 'ensemble'. While many are Paul's former students, membership is strictly by invitation only.
Over the ensemble’s history, Aurora has been fortunate to perform alongside notable classical guitarists such as the Grigoryan Brothers, Pepe Romero, Maximo Diego Pujol, Derek Gripper, the Australian String Quartet, amongst others. Aurora has performed as featured artists in the Adelaide Festival Theatre as part of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in 2014 and 2018, breaking record sales at both appearances.
Aurora has recorded two full CDs and are regularly broadcast on ABC Classic FM. The ensemble performed in Sydney in 2019, and proudly perform regularly for local Queensland communities at Mt Tamborine, Tamrookum, and the greater Brisbane region.